The US 2-1 victory over England in the 2019 Women’s World Cup semi-final has been marked with a social media stir over American forward Alex Morgan’s gesture. The footballer, who scored the second goal during the key match, put her fingers together as if she was holding a cup, raised her hand to her lips and mimed a sip.
The little show did not go unnoticed, as many immediately rushed to discuss what the striker meant.
Most netizens perceived the move univocally, although there were tongue-in-cheek theories about her making a tribute to the Boston Tea Party or her celebrating that she turned 30 on the day of the game.
Alex Morgan at the Boston Tea Party, 1773. Oil on canvas. pic.twitter.com/rRUU8ASagd— 🇺🇸🍊 (@johnstons08) July 2, 2019
Scoring goals and sipping tea on her 30th birthday.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 2, 2019
Alex Morgan just flexed on the entire world pic.twitter.com/WDqiuGLM6J
However, Morgan later confirmed on Twitter, when she thanked everybody for birthday wishes, that she was pretending to drink tea, which many believe is a quintessentially English practice due to the country’s imperial history.
This team is special. Thanks for the bday love. Thanks for the rocking stadium. Thanks for continuing to believe with us. And that’s the tea.— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) July 2, 2019
Many took a light-hearted approach and immediately spotted the likeness to another famous tea lover – Kermit the Frog – or rushed to congratulate the US squad.
Alex Morgan is the 🐐 for drinking tea after the goal vs England. pic.twitter.com/2aYy2j2MjL— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) July 2, 2019
Even former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave kudos to the tea-sipping show.
However, many suggested that the champion was unabashedly trolling the English love for tea, with many hinting that this goal was way too easy for her. Some were triggered, including famous English female footballer Lianne Sanderson, who branded it disrespectful and distasteful.
Alex Morgan mocked the English by sipping tea whilst celebrating. In return when we score we should celebrate by mimicking a school shooting— Fake Carlton (@_CarltonCole9) July 2, 2019
Piers Morgan, who rarely stays away from a good Twitter storm, also weighed in and admitted the reaction to the move “is seriously testing my love of America”.
This is seriously testing my love of America. pic.twitter.com/1oZbaP1qvH— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 3, 2019
The US team, which is to face either Sweden or the Netherlands in the final, has already come under fire for what some considered an over-celebration after thumping Thailand 13-0.